Brow Beat

Our Divided Nation in One Set of Amazon Reviews

A interview with the scholar Reza Aslan about his new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, has been the talk of the Internet today. Fox anchor Lauren Green asked Aslan, who is Muslim—and who, more relevantly, is the author of multiple books about religion—“why would you be interested in the founder of Christianity?”

The offensive line of questioning prompted a furor online, and has likely helped make Zealot the No. 1 selling book at Amazon. Over at the Atlantic, Alexander Nazaryan flagged some of the sillier negative reviews of the book on that site. Also striking is the distribution curve of the reviews in total: more than 100 five-star reviews, more than 100 one-star reviews, and just a shade more than 50 in between.

Having not read the book yet, I cannot say for sure which reviews are more accurate. But I have a pretty good guess.